Tips & Ideas

Does your company have a strategy or plan for social media marketing at their next trade show or event?

Social media and trade show marketing are so important and vital together in this digital world we live in today. If you are paying to be at the trade show don’t just let the trade show costs be for the event attendees but bring the trade show to the world. You have the ability to let the world see you live at the trade show, so figure out your game plan or let the Social Media Dude figure it out for you and make it happen.

The following below are a list of the core general concepts to use in social media while exhibiting at your trade show in Las Vegas.

1. Develop A Strategy:

Social media is so embedded in our daily lives as an impulse of the moment tool, but for marketing you need to brainstorm. Your social media strategy should include overall goals and objective with a plan of action i.e. from platforms you will use, when will you post what and why.

2. Set Goals:

We must set goals in a way to gauge and understand whether or not your social media strategy was successful after the trade show. Look at the overall trade show social media goals from your strategy and determine what outcome would determine success. If your goal is based upon engagement let’s look at retweets, shares, like and etc.

3. Monitor Trade Show Hashtags:

Most trade shows have unique hashtags that should be used and implemented in the strategy to target market to attendees. This is our starting point in using social media for trade shows in getting connected and apart of the conversations. Monitoring the hashtags will help us get involved and have better understanding of overall vibe and interests of our future customers and visitors.

4. Find Where Your Attendees Are:

The main point of using social media during trade shows is to build a community and interact with the show attendees. While a lot of interacting happens on Twitter, at a more visual trade show attendees may be heavily using a social media platform like Instagram or Snapchat or Facebook Live. The Social Media Dude will make sure you are in the right place…and every place.

5. Pick The Right Channel:

The world of social media channels is slammed and everyday a new one could come out. The platforms all have various target audiences and each trade show has a different audience too. Let the Social Media Dude help you pick the right channels to focus on during the show.

6. Team Involvement:

Of course it will be hard for your team to be posting on social media while working at the trade show booth, that is why you are hiring the Social Media Dude, but getting your team involved on social media as individuals will help nonetheless. This support will help juice up our strategic goals. We must encourage and force team members to use their personal social accounts to become active members of the trade show atmosphere pre-show and during the show while using the official hashtag. It’s all connected.

7. Use Show Hashtags:

This tip is vital for Twitter and Instagram. When we use the hashtag designated for the trade show, this will help make your tweets and instagram posts show up for tradeshow attendees, especially for Instagram Stories and those not currently following you. This will aid it getting new people to follow you. If you don’t use the hashtag than only your existing followers will see it. That’s no fun!

8. Leading Up To The Show – Tell Everyone:

I like this one a lot and unfortunately it’s one that you will have to handle on your own as the Social Media Dude, really does not handle weeks and months ahead of time socials for people. The goal is to market and advertise to your fans that you will be posting live from the trade show. Promote and promote some more that you will be at the trade show and tune and stop by our booth. Maybe even creating an event page on Facebook for the trade show.

9. Promote More Than Your Booth:

We want people to know where your or our booth is and what swag you will have for them when stopping by. However when 500 other exhibitors are all saying the same thing, it’s not just boring and fuck, it’s also not beneficial to the attendees following the hashtag because all they will see is stop at our booth. That’s why number 10 is so fucking important…

10. Listen To What Attendees Want:

Remember the #1 objective to exhibiting is giving attendees what they desire, and for social media it’s the same. As we monitor the main hashtag, we must pay attention to what trade show guests are wanting and talking about. What topics are they communicating about? Then we use this intel to steal the trade show from the competition or even create affiliations with other companies exhibiting at the trade show.

11. Valuable Content:

Regardless of what the trade show people are talking about, one thing for sure is they are wanting to gain value from following the show hashtags. The key component is to share something value for the followers. That being expert insights, useful info, industry related news, creativity and when all else fails hot girls.

12. Share Other People:

Reposting and sharing other people’s content attracts new followers and is a way of showing your followers that you respect other people. This trait is also something that is so important in the conversational aspect of social media that most companies forget to do. Social media is about communicating not just saying.

13. Don’t Be A Robot:

Emotionless template messages, tweets, updates, and content published over and over again, or used as replies to people over and over are a big HELL NO!!! STOP THAT!!! The goal is to be human because you are…

14. Join The Trade Show Conversation:

Engage with people at the trade show by either responding to conversations or starting them. When you get involved with industry chats on Facebook or twitter either pre show or during the show it helps boost exposure. Discussing the topics that matter to the audience is key. Chat as if you were face to face.

15. On Location Pics and Vids:

While on site the Social Media Dude will be sure to take plenty of pictures and videos while on location as web stats show that the engagement rate is 2 times higher with pictures and videos these days. I like showcasing various pics and vids of trade show booths, demos and presentations going on at the show. We still should do artistic pictures as well and link them via the company Instagram.

16. “Best Of” Content:

Doing some posting using the “Best of” phrase is highly beneficial to trade show guests and non trade show guests following the show hashtag. If plan on capturing any informative speakers or hands on portions of the trade show use the show hashtag with “Best of” when you share that content on any social media platform to help your followers learn too. Some demonstrations or speakers will even encourage Tweeting with a unique hashtag they have created for their presentation.

17. Show “Non Business” Part of the Show:

Your followers on social media do not just want to see the business part of the trade show but all the other fun stuff. We shall capture the dinners, the night life, the award ceremonies, the fancy hotels, the food, the setup and breakdown of the booths and so on. Displaying your “fun” side will help trade show guests relate to your brand on a more personal level and it helps from getting stuck in the robot style social media many companies do. Of course remember to keep all posting 100% appropriate and family safe.

18. Create A Hashtag:

Some companies decide to use a hashtag entirely their own for marketing purposes like their brand name or brand slogan. This is a great concept but remember to give visitors a reason or justification to use it. Otherwise it’s a waste of characters. One concept is that you can incorporate your Hashtag into your exhibiting plan by doing a Twitter or IG contest. If you go this road make sure your hashtag is very visible in trade show booth and guests easily know what to do with it and make sure your employees working the booth promote attendees to use the hashtag when posting to win a prize.

19. Plan a “tweet up” To Meet People In Person:

If you have Facebook, IG, Twitter, or Snap followers attending a show, a great way to strengthen the bond with those connections is by reaching out and planning a “meet up.” A meet up is simply a planned, in-person meet-up of a social media group. This isn’t a fancy dinner, just a social meetup “get to know you.” Meeting up face to face is and can be intimidating so do your best to make it very warm and welcoming. This can be done at the trade show or at a hotel bar or cafe after the show.

20. Post Show Wrap Up:

I hate to tell you this, but once the trade show ends your social media about the trade show is not over with. Please continue to engage in post show content using the hashtags for weeks to come. It is the same concept as following up with leads and helps form long lasting relationships.

Extra Ideas:

Social Giveaways and Contests:

Connecting your trade show contest in with social media marketing works wonders in marketing. It can and will drive more visitors to your trade show booth. One example is to have visitors take photos or selfies of themselves with a company banner that advertises your brand, and they can post the picture to social media channels like Instagram with the event and company hashtags to enter the contest. The best picture wins!

Video Testimonials:

Ask big fans of your company to record a quick video testimonial that you can share via social media and especially Youtube while at the trade show. Have some prepared questions to ask them as this keeps them focused and shows passion about your company. Now you have some post show content to share on the web and social media.

Email Everyone Who Visited You:

Remember to send an email to everyone who visited your booth at the trade show. Also create and share the trade show recap blog post that includes links to all of your social media posts encouraging them to engage with you again and relive the show.